MAY 14, 2024

Attorney General Alan Wilson joins two lawsuits to stop electric-truck mandates

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - Attorney General Alan Wilson is part of two lawsuits to stop both the Biden administration and the State of California from imposing electric-vehicle mandates on truck owners and operators throughout the country. A coalition of 24 states on Monday filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to challenge the Biden administration’s new regulation of emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. A separate coalition of 17 states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California that seeks to block a package of regulations targeting trucking fleet owners and operators. 

“Once again, the Biden administration is overstepping its legal authority and trying to mandate something that will cost all of us more money,” Attorney General Wilson said. “On top of that, California is trying to take action on its own that will affect ALL states. We’re standing up for our states, our people, and the rule of law.”

The D.C. Circuit suit targets the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s rule imposing stringent tailpipe emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles that effectively forces manufacturers to produce more electric trucks and fewer internal-combustion trucks. Right now, electric trucks—and the infrastructure needed to support them—are virtually nonexistent. They also have shorter ranges and require longer stops. The EPA’s rule, however, would require manufacturers to produce fewer vehicles that utilize the preferred internal-combustion technology. 

The California suit challenges a suite of California regulations called Advanced Clean Fleets. Advanced Clean Fleets requires certain trucking fleet owners and operators to retire internal-combustion trucks and transition to more expensive and less efficient electric trucks. The rule applies to fleets that are headquartered outside of California if they operate within California. Given California’s large population and access to ports for international trade, this regulation will have significant nationwide effects on the supply chain. 

The states argue in both lawsuits that the Biden administration and California regulators have exceeded their constitutional and statutory authority in attempting to force the entire country to transition to electric trucks. In addition to their legal flaws, both regulations defy reality. Electric trucks are inefficient and costly and will harm citizens of South Carolina by increasing the costs of interstate transportation, raising prices for goods, and burdening the electric power grid. 

In addition to Attorney General Wilson, attorneys general from the following states joined the lawsuit against the Biden administration: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

In addition to Attorney General Wilson, attorneys general from the following states joined the lawsuit against California regulators: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Additionally, the Arizona State Legislature joined the lawsuit as well.

You can read the Court filings here and here.

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